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THE BEST FIFA FOOTBALL AWARDS 2019

Megan Rapinoe gives powerful speech at The Best ceremony

The US national team captain won the 2019 FIFA's Best Female Player of the year award, taking the opportunity to praise Sterling and Koulibaly in her speech.

 USA women's Megan Rapinoe speaks after winning the Best FIFA Women's player award
FLAVIO LO SCALZO REUTERS

Megan Rapinoe was named the 2019 FIFA best female player of the year ahead of Alex Morgan and Lucy Bronze, to close a perfect season after winning both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball at the 2019 France World Cup. She took home The Best award with 46% of the votes, something that gave her the chance to give a powerful acceptance speech.

The USA team captain hailed the incredible year women's football had, with the France World Cup taking center stage in terms of records, with the United States becoming the first national team to win back-to-back championships. "I want to thank our coaching staff with Jill Ellis, and the rest of them that have put us all in a tremendous position to be as successful as we have been."

Rapinoe took this moment to praise Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly for speaking out against racism in football, staying true to her fight for equality in football, calling for everyone to aim for meaningful change.

"Some of the stories that inspired me this year are Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, their incredible performances on the field and their reaction to the disgusting racism they have to face. The young Iranian woman who eventually set herself on fire because she wasn't able to go to the game. If we really want to have meaningful change, if everyone other than Sterling or Koulibaly were outraged, if everyone were outraged by the homophobia, that would be the most inspiring thing to me.

Megan Rapinoe ended her speech with a request to the professional footballers who, besides their success, also had an incredible platform. "I ask everyone here, lend your platform to other people, share your success. We have a unique opportunity to use this game to actually change the world for better. I hope you take that to heart, do something, we have incredible power in this room."